I’ve been waiting to hear an expert opinion weigh in on USC’s plan to offer free tuition for families with income of $80,000 or less.
“It’s a brilliant PR stunt on their side,” Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University, told Yahoo Money.
Excerpt; “The tuition for attending USC is roughly $58,000 and living costs are approximately $18,000 for an academic year, according to data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The free tuition pledge will not cover room and board, food, or other secondary expenses.
“The average net price that USC students with income under $80,000 are currently paying is between $15,000 to $21,000, according to the NCES. This is approximately the room and board cost, meaning the new plan, which only covers tuition, won’t really help the students with their additional expenses.
“Low-income students have problems paying for the living costs, not the tuition,” Dr. Goldrick-Rab said. “They already have significant financial aid for tuition but not for their living costs, so they’re not going to see a substantial change.
“This is a reaction to the admission scandal and all of their other scandals,” Dr. Goldrick-Rab said.